RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Using Awards Lists As a RA Tool: Firecracker Awards

This is part of my ongoing series on using Awards Lists as a RA tool. Click here for all posts in the series in reverse chronological order. Click here for the first post which outlines the details how to use awards lists as a RA tool.  

Below is an award that is new to me-- The Firecracker Awards; in fact, I only heard of it because my kid's employer [The Common] is up for an award [below]. And then, it also made Library Journal's Book Pulse daily newsletter. And then, I saw one of the judges was-- Allison Escoto who along with being the Librarian at the Center for Fiction is also the Administrative Assistant for LibraryReads

So yes, all of those factors made me do a triple take on this award and give it a harder look and now I know it is 100% worth your time to explore this more. It is for all independently published literature and the presses they are considering are ones for which you already have titles in your collections. These authors in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are authors who you should be collecting and knowing about. 

And the link to their past winners and nominees was in the award announcement below, and here. A quick perusal of that link will confirm that the authors who are singled out here do go on to matter in terms of our collections and readers. 


Firecracker Awards
Celebrating the Best of Independently Published Literature

The CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature are given annually to celebrate books and magazines that make a significant contribution to our literary culture and the publishers that strive to introduce important voices to readers far and wide. Prizes are awarded in the categories of Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Magazine/General Excellence, and Magazine/Best Debut. Each year, CLMP also awards the Lord Nose Award, given to a publisher or editor in recognition of a lifetime of work in literary publishing.

Each winner in the books category will receive $2,000–$1,000 for the press and $1,000 for the author or translator–and each winner in the magazine categories will receive $1,000. In addition, a national publicity campaign spotlights and promotes our winning titles each year. In partnership with the American Booksellers Association, promotional materials—including a press release and shelf talkers featuring the winning titles—are distributed to over 500 independent booksellers across the country. Winners are also promoted in CLMP’s newsletters, on our website, and through a dedicated social media campaign. The publishers of winning titles receive a free one-year membership to CLMP, and magazine winners receive a one-year CLMP Member subscription to Submittable. To read press coverage about the 2023 Firecracker Award winners, visit our Press Center.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on June 27, 2024, at 6 p.m. ET. Click here to RSVP for the Zoom.

2024 FIRECRACKER AWARDS FINALISTS:

FICTION
Landscapes by Christine Lai, published by Two Dollar Radio
You Were Watching from the Sand by Juliana Lamy, published by Red Hen Press
The Simple Art of Killing a Woman by Patrícia Melo, translated by Sophie Lewis, published by Restless Books
The Girl Before Her by Line Papin, translated by Adriana Hunter and Ly Lan Dill, published by Kaya Press
Dearborn by Ghassan Zeineddine, published by Tin House

CREATIVE NONFICTION
None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary by Travis Alabanza, published by Feminist Press
Holy American Burnout! by Sean Enfield, published by Split/Lip Press
On Community by Casey Plett, published by Biblioasis
The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth by Elizabeth Rush, published by Milkweed Editions
Otherwise by Julie Marie Wade, published by Autumn House Press

POETRY
The Limitless Heart by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, published by Haymarket Books
Village by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, published by Coffee House Press
Rebozos of love by Juan Felipe Herrera, published by FlowerSong Press
Hydra Medusa by Brandon Shimoda, published by Nightboat Books
Kaan and Her Sisters by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, published by Trio House Press

MAGAZINES/BEST DEBUT
Changing Skies
Folly
Mister Magazine
Short Reads
SWING

MAGAZINES/GENERAL EXCELLENCE
The Common
Lampblack
LIBER: A Feminist Review
Virginia Quarterly Review
Words Without Borders

2024 Firecracker Award Judges

Fiction

Zeyn Joukhadar, author of The Thirty Names of Night, published by Atria Books
Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, author of What We Fed to the Manticore, published by Tin House
Kevin Sampsell, events coordinator and small-press book buyer at Powell’s Books

Creative Nonfiction

Edgar Gomez, author of High Risk Homosexual: A Memoir, published by Soft Skull Press
Raquel Gutiérrez, author of Brown Neon, published by Coffee House Press
Gaël LeLamer, head book buyer at Books & Books

Poetry 

Allison Escoto, head librarian and education director at The Center for Fiction
Crystal Wilkinson, author of Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, published by Clarkson Potter
Shelley Wong, author of As She Appears, published by YesYes Books

Magazine

Sam Campbell, managing editor, The Arkansas International
Manuel Gonzales, fiction editor, Bennington Review
Dana Isokawa, editor in chief, The Margins

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Resource Reminder: Book Marks: The Book Review Aggregator

Professional reviews are one of your best resources. Why? Because those of us who get paid to review books are not there to tell you are personal opinion, rather our goal it to asses the book, its merit aa a presentation of its category and peers, and to articulate who the best reader for that book will be.

Even a tepid or negative professional review of a book will be able to be used as a resource to match it with a potential reader. Sometimes, the reason a book doesn't;t work is exactly why someone else would enjoy it.

As opposed to average reader reviews, which can be filled with why that specific reader loved or hated a book (information which is also useful since you are helping actual readers find books), professional reviews are an excellent collection development resource while they also allow you to stay on top of books as they are coming out.

That is what I love to recommend Book Marks because it aggregates the professional book reviews for you.

I love resources that aggregate other resources. Not only do these types of resources save all of us time, meaning we can go to one place for lots of similar information, but also, this aggregation means we get a broader picture, with representation from multiple resources in one place.

Book Marks is one of those favorites of mine. From their "About" page:
How It Works 
Every day, the Book Marks staff scours the most important and active outlets of literary journalism in the US—from established national broadsheets to regional weeklies and alternative litblogs—and logs their book reviews. When a book is reviewed by at least three outlets, each of those reviews is assigned an individual rating (Rave, Positive, Mixed or Pan). These ratings are then averaged into a result and the book becomes part of our Book Marks database. 
Each book’s cumulative rating functions as both a general critical assessment, and, more significantly, as an introduction to the range of voices and opinions that make up the world of American literary criticism. These opinions are accompanied by pull quotes representative of the overall stance of each individual review, and readers can click through to the full review at its source. 
Readers can express their own opinions alongside those of the critics in each book page’s What Did You Think Of… comments section.  
Book Marks exists to serve as a consolidated information resource for the reading public and a link between the worlds of literary creation, criticism and consumption. We hope it will bring more attention to great books and great criticism. 
The writing community benefits from a multiplicity of voices. We’re eager to hear yours.

Now full disclosure before I move on, my reviews for Booklist and Library Journal are included in this resource with my name attached. However, I honestly use it for every genre EXCEPT horror, so I can stay up to speed on the titles I need to know about.

I like that they classify reviews as "Rave," Postive," "Mixed" or "Pan" to give an overall view of the book's critical status before you even click through. Also, you need serious "Rave" reviews to get more than a positive.

Too often, one review, be it positive or negative, from an influential source can define the book for the majority of readers. Yet, with Book Marks, you can easily get a full picture of the professional book reviewers' opinions on a title in one place. And even if everyone loved it, the one of two who did not, will get their voice on equal footing.

Here is a great example of a book I know you all have, The Hunger by Tana French, which has a review in each category.

Also a plus with Book Marks, genre titles are placed on an equal footing. Click here to see all of the categories they have created including all genres, formats [poetry and Graphic Novels, for ex], and multiple categories of nonfiction.

You can use the site to help readers, by providing them with multiple viewpoints on a specific title without reading the book for yourself or being forced to share your personal opinion], for collection development [you can search newest titles and they make lots of best lists], and for displays [the categories and lists are there for the taking].

I personally like the "Best Reviewed" carousel, on the homepage. I often find titles there that I have missed. Maybe they didn't get the biggest buzz or publisher support, and yet, critics are still noticing them.

Finally, in at the end of each title entry there is a list of "similar books." Click here for the entry for a backlist book I gave a star review as an example. The readalikes are updated with new titles all the time. I am not sure how they make those lists, but you can click through into the titles to see more information.

In general, I advocate for aggregated resources. I love crowd sourcing too. Check out Book Marks, yes, but also think about the resources you are using, how they are created, and if they give you everything you want or need. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Using Awards Lists As a RA Tool: Eisner Awards Edition

This is part of my ongoing series on using Awards Lists as a RA tool. Click here for all posts in the series in reverse chronological order. Click here for the first post which outlines the details how to use awards lists as a RA tool.  



The Eisner Awards are the top awards for the format of Graphic Novels and Comics. Below I will post the intro and then the link to the full list of nominees in 32 categories

I love these awards because they teach me about the industry as much as alert me to the leading titles. When you see the different categories, you can begin to understand the differences in titles for readers: ingle issues vs series vs reprint. You can also see artists and letterers show up over time and across different publications. In other words, the Eisner Awards nominees list hold a lot more information for you  than just a reason to get up some displays, update your collections, or make some lists.

And now they have the current nominees, history of the award, and past honorees all on the same, easy to navigate page, here.

Before we get to the current list of nominees, I do want to shout out my favorite author-- Stephen Graham Jones-- who is nominated for BEST WRITER for his Earthdivers series

Click here or after the reposted intro to see all 32 category nominees. This intro serves as a great overview of the year that was. 

COMIC-CON IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE NOMINEES FOR THE WILL EISNER COMIC INDUSTRY AWARDS 2024. THE NOMINATIONS ARE FOR WORKS PUBLISHED BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND DECEMBER 31, 2023 AND WERE CHOSEN BY A BLUE-RIBBON PANEL OF JUDGES. 

Once again, this year’s nominees in 32 categories reflect the wide range of material being published in the U.S. in comics and graphic novels, representing more than 150 print and online titles from over 60 publishers, produced by creators from all over the world. 

Image and DC received the most nominations: Image with 17 (plus 8 shared) and DC with 13 (plus 8 shared). Image’s nominees span a spectrum of titles, with multiple nominations for The Cull, Black Cloak, and Transformers. Topping DC’s nominees are Birds of Prey, Detective Comics, Shazam!, and Nightwing. 

Fantagraphics has 11 nominations, once again dominating the Archival Collection categories, with 3 in the Comic Strip category and 2 in the Comic Book category. First Second‘s 10 nominations include 3 for Emily Carroll’s A Guest in the House(Best Graphic Album, Best Writer/Artist, Best Letterer) and 3 in the Best Graphic Memoir category: Thien Pham’s Family Style, Dan Santat’s A First Time for Everything, and Deb JJ Lee’s In Limbo. 

Among IDW’s 9 nominations (plus 4 shared) are 2 for Alvaro Ortiz’s Ashes (Best Graphic Album, Best U.S. Edition of International Material) and 2 for Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons, by Frank Tieri and Inaki Miranda (Best Limited Series, Best Penciller/Inker). Roaming by cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki led Drawn & Quarterly’s 8 nominations with nods for Best Graphic Album, Best Writer, and Best Penciller/Inker. 

Marvel Comics received 5 nominations (plus 3 shared), while Dark Horse had 4 (plus 1 shared), including 2 in the Best Comics-Related Book category. Penguin Random House imprints have 5 nominations, including 3 young readers titles from Penguin Workshop. 

Other publishers with multiple nominations include Yen Press (4), Abrams ComicArts and Titan Comics (each with 3 plus 1 shared), Europe Comics (3), Magnetic Press (3), Oni Press (3), VIZ Media (3), Comixology Originals (2 plus 2 shared), and DSTLRY (2 plus 1 shared). Eleven companies have 2 nominations each, and another 35 companies or individuals have 1 nomination or 2–3 shared nominations each. 

Besides Roaming, other graphic novels with 3 nominations are Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy, by Bill Griffith (Best Reality-Based Work, Best Writer/Artist, Best Lettering; Abrams), and Blacksad, Vol 7: They All Fall Down, Part 2, by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Best Painter, Best Digital Comic; Europe Comics). 

When it comes to creators, Kelly Thompson leads the pack with 5 nominations: Best Continuing Series for Birds of Prey, Best Limited Series for The Cull, Best New Series for Black Cloak, Best Humor Publication for It’s Jeff, and Best Writer. Besides Emily Carroll, Juano Guarnido, and Bill Griffith, the only other creator with 3 nominations is Tom Taylor (Best Single Issue, Best Continuing Series, and Best Writer for Nightwing). Individuals with 2 nominations include Jason Sean Alexander, Becky Cloonan, Scott Dunbier, Erica Henderson, Daniel Warren Johnson, Tom King, Tula Lotay, Inaki Miranda, Mokumokuren, Dan Mora, Ryan North, Alvaro Ortiz, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, and Mark Waid. 

Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 36th year of bringing attention to and highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2024 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of educator/comics creator Ryan Claytor, author/editor/educator N. C. Christopher Couch, retailer/academic Andréa Gilroy, writer/editor Joseph Illidge, retailer Mathias Lewis, and author/public school librarian Jillian Rudes. 

Voting for the awards is being held online using a two-step process. The first step is for prospective voters to apply at https://cci.tiny.us/2p8r8e6c . After filling out the form, eligible voters will be invited to go to the ballot and cast their votes. Those who previously registered will automatically be invited to fill out the new ballot. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 6. New voters must have registered by May 30 in order to be invited to the ballot. Questions about the voting process should be sent to the Eisner Awards administrator, Jackie Estrada at jackie@comic-con.org. 

The Eisner Award trophies will be presented in a gala awards ceremony to be held at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel during Comic-Con on the evening of July 26.

Click here to see all of the nominees and to have access to the backlist of winners and more

Friday, May 17, 2024

Five Book Friday via Lila Denning

It's Friday and I have a guest post idea from Lila Denning entitled "Five Book Friday." 

Click here to access the post and her excellent Book Display focused blog (for even more ideas) or read below.

Book Display Idea - Five Book Friday!

by Lila Denning

Reoccurring social media posts can be a reason for people to revist your social media pages even when the posts don't show up in their feed. A fun way to involve all staff, regardless of position, in readers advisory and marketing your backlist is what I call Five Book Friday. Everyone who works in your library system can find materials about a theme they love including books and audio-video materials. The idea can even work with your eBook collection. 

Announce the program and seek input from staff. With a calendar you can assign weeks and have part of your social media promotion set for the year. Allowing everyone to participate will add topics and titles that would otherwise be buried in the stacks to get a spotlight shined on them. Someone in your business office may love historical fiction. A member of your facilities team could love French cooking. A preschool storytime star may be an expert in space opera. Not only will this provide social media posts but it will encourage team building as staff learn about each other. 

Some examples? 

Heavy Metal - 

We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix
Slash (autobiography)- Slash
Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga - Stephen Davis
Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal - Joe Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman
Fargo Rock City - Chuck Klosterman
or add two music CDs 

Witchy Fiction - 

Boneset and Feathers - Gwendolyn Kiste
Island Witch - Amanda Jayatissa
Hex - Thomas Olde Heuvelt
The Once and Future Witches Alix E. Harrow 
The Year of the Witching -Alexis Henderson

Salads -

Salad Samurai - Terry Hope Romero
Salad Freak - Jess Damuck
Saladish: A Crunchier, Grainier, Herbier, Heartier, Tastier Way with Vegetables - Ilene Rosen
Seriously Good Salads: Creative Flavor Combinations for Nutritious, Satisfying Meals - Nicky Corbishley 
The Complete Salad Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to 200+ Vibrant Dishes Using Greens, Vegetables, Grains, Proteins, and More - America's Test Kitchen

The books can be in someone's hands or on a desk. The layout of the photos are up to you and how comfortable staff are with being on your library's social media page. Spread out the topics and make a mix between fiction and non-fiction. You can do all movie posts if that's an interest someone has. Use your physical and digital audiobooks as well. A staff picks carousel can be added to your eBook collection. 

Thanks Lila! For more book display and passive RA ideas, click here.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

What I'm Reading: I Was a Teenage Slasher

The May 15th issue of Booklist contains my STAR review of the 2nd Stephen Graham Jones novel of 2024. I cannot express how much I love this book, but I will try. 

STAR
I Was a Teenaged Slasher
Stephen Graham Jones

Hot on the heels of the conclusion to his Indian Lake Trilogy which introduced the 21st Century’s Final Girl, Jade Daniels, Jones is back with Tolly Driver, the yin to Jade’s yang. Narrated from 17 years in the future, Tolly recounts in an engaging and brutally honest narration, the summer he was 17, 1989, in Lamesa, TX, when he killed 6 (or 12 or 14) of his high school classmates. Beginning with the fateful night he and his best friend Amber attend a house party, and leading readers through Tolly’s transformation from skinny kid with a peanut allergy to an inevitable killer, this novel lays down new ground rules for the Slasher, deeply rooting it in its established tropes, moving it in a new direction, while still making novices feel welcome. Readers will watch something original emerge before their eyes, realizing why everyone needs to be as obsessed with the Slasher as Jones is himself. Suggest to every reader who loves a perfectly rendered time and place or just wants a chilling, captivating, and thought-provoking story where every detail matters and every page is worth their time, but especially those who recently enjoyed The Pallbearers Club by Tremblay and The Eyes Are the Best Part by Kim or have missed Deaver’s seminal sympathetic killer, Dexter.

Three Words That Describe This Book: strong sense of place, dark humor, engaging narration


Further Appeal: The hardest thing about talking about this book is that you cannot talk about any of the amazing specifics. There is a twist early in the book that begins the process of how this book changes the entire Slasher genre in the VERY BEST way. It explains the entire trope as it appeared before this book, in books and movies, and move it forward. It provides the information we never knew, but it makes so much sense and you can never unknow it.


Watching this book all unfold was a joy. I bolded the word "every" as it repeated in my review when I turned n the draft and gave this note to my editor-- "please keep the 'every' repeating. I did that on purpose. I cannot stress enough how there are no wasted words here and even more, how they all matter. To the final page. It is remarkable to have something so entertaining be so well written."


Throw out every slasher you have ever read and just put this novel next to the Indian Lake Trilogy and you have the definition of the slasher genre in the 21st century. I cannot stress enough how well Tolly Driver pairs with Jade Daniels as opposite side of the same coin. Standing alone they are great and can be enjoyed without the other, but together they are masterful, informing each other and enhancing the enjoyment of each other.


The setting is also perfectly rendered-- 1989 which was the year I entered high school, so I felt the time in my bones. But also, Jones set it near the place he lived as a High Schooler in West Texas in 1989. He writes in the acknowledgments about the real spaces and how hard he worked to get it all right. You can feel that. Also the music! All the hair bands.


Tolly's narration was intimate and engaging. You knew he was going to be a teenaged slasher-- the title tells you, he tells you over and over again of the number of dead left in his wake. It is clear he is narrating from the future, in a place where no one knows who he is-- he tells you this. But you come to love Tolly, you want to protect him, you want it all to be okay-- despite knowing it will not be okay. That is masterful storytelling. Jones's unique cadence in how he has Tolly share his story will grab you and keep you hooked for the duration- even when you want to look away and not see what is about to happen.


And not only does every detail matter, but the ending was perfect-- heartbreakingly beautiful-- done

with love and care.

Amber and Tolly-- BFFSs 4EVER! That should be spray painted in the Lamesa graffiti wall. Someone in TX get on that.

Readalikes: The above books made the cut into the review. But I do need to say people who are not as obsessed with Jones or Jade Daniels should read this BEFORE starting the Jade trilogyMaeve Fly by CJ Leede is also a good readalike here. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite an even better one though.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

LibraryReads: June 2024

       It's LibraryReads day and that means four things here on RA for All

  1. I post the list and tag it “Library Reads” so that you can easily pull up every single list with one click.
  2. I can remind you that even though the newest list is always fun to see, it is the older lists where you can find AWESOME, sure bet suggestions for patrons that will be on your shelf to actually hand to them right now. The best thing about LibraryReads is the compound interest it is earning. We now have hundreds and hundreds of titles worth suggesting right at our fingertips through this archive OR the sortable master list allowing you to mix and match however you want.
  3. You have no excuse not to hand sell any LibraryReads titles because there is a book talk right there in the list in the form of the annotation one of your colleagues wrote for you. All you have to say to your patron is, “such and such library worker in blank state thought this was a great read,” and then you read what he or she said.
  4. Every upcoming book now has at least 1 readalike that is available to hand out RIGHT NOW. Book talk the upcoming book, place a hold for it, and then hand out that readalike title for while they wait. If they need more titles before their hold comes in, use the readalike title to identify more readalike titles. And then keep repeating. Seriously, it is that easy to have happy, satisfied readers.
So get out there and suggest a good read to someone today. I don’t care what list or resource you use to find the suggestion, just start suggesting books.

Please remember to click here for everything you need to know about how to participate. Click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month.

And finally, here is LibraryReads' extremely helpful Resources page.

Ed note for the June 2024 list: There are 15 Hall of Fame Authors!!!! That is a list and a half of books and authors that would NOT have been given the promotion on the LR list this month without the Hall of Fame. Also there are 2 Horror books on the list [Malerman and Tremblay]. I have added my reviews of these titles below.

Now let's get to the June 2024 list.... 



Sandwich: A Novel
Catherine Newman
(Harper)

This story focuses on Rocky, a woman filled with menopausal rage and immense love for her family. The witty banter and poignant musings will have readers laughing hysterically while mopping up tears a few pages later. This is a no-brainer for fans of Ann Patchett and those who enjoy a good family drama. Perfect for women's book discussion groups.

—Robin Beerbower, LibraryReads Ambassador, AZ
NoveList read-alike: Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Moore

Now for the rest of the June 2024 list!

Swift River

Essie Chambers
(Simon & Schuster)

In this heartbreaking debut set in the 1980s, Diamond, a Black girl growing up in New England town, feels like a misfitWhen she gets a letter from an estranged branch of the family, everything she thought she knew about herself is turned upside- down. Secrets from the women that came before her allow Diamond to realize her full potential.

—Kaite Stover, Kansas City Public Library, MO
NoveList read-alike: The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis

Love Letters to a Serial Killer: A Novel
Tasha Coryell
(Berkley Books)

Twisty denouements abound in this psychological suspense about a woman falling for a suspected serial killer as she corresponds with him in jail. The author is able to depict the questionable choices of a down-on-her-luck woman who naively becomes entangled with a dangerous man. This is a darkly humorous, sexy, and entertaining thriller.

—Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, CA
NoveList read-alike: I Told You This Would Happen by Elaine Murphy

That Night in the Library
Eva Jurczyk
(Poisoned Pen Press)

A group of students gather for a party in the library's basement the night before graduation. Things quickly go awry, and bodies start piling up. There are seven main characters and multiple POVs, but readers will be able to keep up thanks to Jurczyk’s witty writing. It’s a bonus to get an inside look at a rare books library.

—Danielle Hansard, Westland Public Library, MI
NoveList read-alike: If We Were Villains by ML Rio

Same As It Ever Was: A Novel

Claire Lombardo
(Doubleday Books)

Julia is in her late fifties and seemingly has it all, but a chance meeting with an old acquaintance quickly uncovers the fissures in her carefully constructed existence. Lombardo skillfully moves back and forth in Julia's life with an incredible gift for writing seemingly mundane but charged moments in her characters' lives.

—Alisa Stanfield, LibraryReads Ambassador, IL
NoveList read-alike: Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close

The Housemaid Is Watching
Freida McFadden
(Poisoned Pen Press)

Millie's just moved into her dream house but soon discovers it may not be as ideal as she'd hoped, with strange neighbors and happenings in the house. Those unfamiliar with the first two Housemaid books will still enjoy this standalone novel, an engrossing, psychological thriller with plot twists that will keep readers guessing.

—Kristin Skinner, Flat River Community Library, MI
NoveList read-alike: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Lula Dean's Little Library of Banned Books
Kirsten Miller
(William Morrow)

Lula Dean's mission is to rid schools and libraries of all books she deems inappropriate, and she erects a Little Free Library filled with her chosen titles. But someone is changing the books by leaving the covers and substituting a wide variety of banned books. This timely tale shows how hate is banished and books can better your life when not restricted.

—Judy G. Sebastian, Eastham Public Library, MA
NoveList read-alike: Bookish People by Susan Coll

Service Model
Adrian Tchaikovsky
(Tordotcom)

This is a hilariously biting dystopian tale about a world where human civilization has collapsed and robots are stuck in poorly programmed loops that cause them suffering. We follow the adventures of a valet robot as he wanders across a bleak post- apocalyptic landscape, seeking a position where he can be of service to humans. Give this to Murderbot fans.

—Ariel Zeitlin, Montclair Public Library, NJ
NoveList read-alike: The Chosen Twelve by James Breakwell

Margo's Got Money Troubles
Rufi Thorpe
(William Morrow)

A heartwarming and luminous coming-of-age tale of a 20-year-old single mother trying to make it on OnlyFans. Readers will be rooting for Margo and will fall in love with the wacky cast of characters, especially her dad. Thorpe perfectly captures the intensity of caring for a newborn while crafting a smart and relatable heroine.

—Shannon Gruber, River Forest Public Library, IL
NoveList read-alike: Interesting Facts about Space by Emily Austin

Shelterwood: A Novel
Lisa Wingate
(Ballantine Books)

In this emotional dual narrative, National Parks Ranger Val is determined to solve a mystery surrounding the recently uncovered gravesite of three children. Shifting to the early 1900s, the narrative expands to expose the abuse of Choctaw children and feature the women crusading against illegal child labor at the dawn of Oklahoma’s statehood.

—Erin Downey Howerton, Wichita Public Library, KS
NoveList read-alike: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Board Bonus picks:

Fire Exit: A Novel
Morgan Talty
(Tin House)

One of Our Kind: A Novel
Nicola Yoon
(Knopf)

Notable Nonfiction:

12 Trips in 12 Months: Make Your Own Solo Travel Magic
Jen Ruiz
(Blackstone)

See our social media for annotations of the bonus picks


The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly LibraryReads list since 2013. When their third title places on the list via library staff votes, the author moves into the Hall of Fame. Click here to see the Hall of Fame authors organized in alpha order.

Winter Lost
Patricia Briggs
(Ace Books)

NoveList read-alike: S.P.E.A.R. Mission Files series by Ileandra Young

The Rom-Commers
Katherine Center
(St. Martin's Press)

NoveList read-alike: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

The Next Mrs. Parrish
Liv Constantine
(Bantam)

NoveList read-alike: The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark

The Midnight Feast
Lucy Foley
(William Morrow)

NoveList read-alike: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Not In Love
Ali Hazelwood
(Berkley Books)

NoveList read-alike: The Build Up by Tati Richardson

Swan Song
Elin Hilderbrand
(Little, Brown and Co.)

NoveList read-alike: Summer on Highland Beach by Sunny Hostin

Tangled Up In You: A Meant to Be Novel
Christina Lauren
(Hyperion Avenue)

NoveList read-alike: How to Find a Princess by Jasmine Guillory

Incidents Around the House
Josh Malerman
(Del Rey Books)

NoveList read-alike: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Summer Romance
Annabel Monaghan
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

NoveList read-alike: This Summer will Be Different by Carley Fortune

What You Leave Behind
Wanda M. Morris
(William Morrow)

NoveList read-alike: A Spy in the Struggle by Aya DeLeon

A Novel Love Story
Ashley Poston
(Berkley Books)

NoveList read-alike: Eighty Days to Elsewhere by KC Dyer

Middle of the Night
Riley Sager
(Dutton)

NoveList read-alike: Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

A Talent for Murder
Peter Swanson
(William Morrow)

NoveList read-alike: Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews

Horror Movie: A Novel
Paul Tremblay
(William Morrow)

NoveList read-alike: Burn the Negative by Joshua Winning

Husbands & Lovers
Beatriz Williams
(Ballantine Books)

NoveList read-alike: Homecoming by Kate Morton